Service culture

Dan Kravitz Discusses Strategic Plan Terminations

In a recent article published by ​PLANSPONSOR, Dan Kravitz, president of Kravitz, Inc., and Chris Pitman, an expert plan termination consultant with the firm,​ ​​​​​​define the concept of strategic plan termination—what the pros and cons are, and what an employer’s responsibilities entail under IRS and PBGC regulations. “If an employer has the right goals and follows the right process​, strategic plan terminations can be a win-win for the company and for employees,​”​ said the pair.


Chard Snyder Celebrates 30th Anniversary with Open House

Visitors Tour New Corporate Headquarters in Mason

Mason, OH—Chard Snyder, a third-party administrator of employee benefit solutions and wholly owned subsidiary of technology-enabled retirement, education, and healthcare solutions provider Ascensus, today celebrates the company’s 30th anniversary during an Open House at their new corporate headquarters. The recently opened facility is located at 6867 Cintas Boulevard in the City of Mason.

The Open House will take place June 28 from 3-7 p.m. ET for Chard Snyder’s advisors, clients, vendors, and business partners to thank them for their support over the last 30 years. Guests will enjoy food, music, time with their Chard Snyder partners, and brief tours of the new facility.

“Our new headquarters marks a transition to the next era for Chard Snyder,” said Joy Snyder, Chard Snyder’s president and co-founder. “It is a sign of our stability and growth, and shows our clients, partners, and the community that we continue to evolve while staying true to our values.”

First announced in February 2017, construction on the new two-story, 53,000-square-foot facility began in May 2017. Chard Snyder, which was recently ranked in the top 25 Largest Greater Cincinnati Employee Benefit Providers list by the Cincinnati Business Courier, outgrew its previous four-building campus just two miles away in Deerfield Township. When further expansion in that location was not possible, the decision was made to build the new headquarters in the I-71 Innovation Corridor in Mason. The state-of-the-art facility provides employees with great amenities, including an open work environment, collaboration spaces, a full kitchen and café, outdoor walking path, and individual wellness rooms.

“The new location provides our partners with easy access to our facility and allows us to be part of a growing local service and technology hub,” Snyder said. “Our team is finally together under one roof, increasing opportunities for growth and collaboration. We’re thankful for our first 30 years of business and excited about the future.”

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on May 24 to officially open the new building. City of Mason dignitaries, representatives from Al. Neyer construction and Chard Snyder executive team members cut the ribbon. Many of Chard Snyder’s 170 employees were on hand for the celebration.

About Chard Snyder

Chard Snyder provides employee benefit solutions to more than 1,400 employers in 40 states across the U.S. Chard Snyder administers savings and spending accounts (FSA, HSA, HRA, transit & parking), benefit continuation services (COBRA; retiree, direct and other billing) and FMLA leave, and provides plan document services. Founded in 1988 by Ken Chard and Joy Snyder, the company employs 170 team members today. Chard Snyder is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ascensus and the anchor of its new Health division. Visit www.chard-snyder.com or call 800.982.7715 to learn more.

About Ascensus

Ascensus helps more than 8 million Americans save for the future—retirement, education, and healthcare—through technology-enabled solutions. With more than 35 years of experience, the firm offers tailored solutions that meet the needs of asset managers, banks, credit unions, state governments, financial professionals, employers, and individuals. Ascensus supports over 60,000 retirement plans, more than 4 million 529 education savings accounts, and a growing number of ABLE savings accounts. It also administers more than 1.6 million IRAs and health savings accounts. As of March 31, 2018, Ascensus had over $187 billion in total assets under administration. For more information about Ascensus, visit ascensus.com.

View career opportunities at careers.ascensus.com and http://www.chard-snyder.com/about/careers/ or on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/company/ascensus. For the latest company news, follow @AscensusInc on Twitter.


Jim Racine Discusses Value of TPAs

In a recent article publish by Wealth Management, VP Jim Racine discusses the value of TPAs and how they make employers’ lives easier. He also explains how fast the retirement industry is evolving: “Regional and national TPAs are growing by acquisition, with Ascensus seeing up to five acquisitions reported of each month from as many as four firms doing acquisitions,” adds Racine. ​​


Ascensus Appoints Robert Kaplan as Chief Compliance Officer

Well-Established Compliance Expert Will Act as CCO at the Corporate Level and Across Multiple Business Lines

Dresher, PA—Ascensus, a technology-enabled solutions provider that helps more than 8 million Americans save for the future, announces the appointment of Robert Kaplan as chief compliance officer (CCO).

In this role, Kaplan will act as CCO at the corporate level and across multiple lines of business, including 529 college savings plans and other government-sponsored savings plans. He will also be responsible for the firm’s broker-dealers, investment advisor, transfer agent, and trust companies, developing and instituting organizational programs while leading the compliance team.

Kaplan brings more than 30 years of broker-dealer and investment advisor compliance experience to Ascensus. He previously held the position of vice president and district director for the FINRA district office located in Philadelphia. Kaplan joined FINRA in 2000, serving as deputy director and acting director of the New York district office. Prior to his association with FINRA, he served as senior vice president, secretary, counsel, and chief compliance officer for Fiserv Securities, Inc.

Kaplan holds a B.A. in History from Temple University and a Juris Doctor from Villanova University School of Law. He also attended the FINRA Institute at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he was designated a Certified Regulatory and Compliance Professional.

“Bob’s in-depth legal and regulatory expertise—along with his proven leadership skills—will help to ensure that Ascensus continues to have a best-in-class compliance function,” said Joe Dansky, Ascensus’ head of legal, risk management, and compliance. “On behalf of everyone at Ascensus, I’m pleased to welcome Bob to our organization.”

“Bob’s extensive experience in leading compliance departments at FINRA and in the financial services industry makes him an outstanding choice to oversee compliance at Ascensus,” states David Musto, president of Ascensus. “Adding a seasoned veteran like Bob is yet another example of Ascensus’ ability to attract high-end talent who can contribute to our company’s growth.”

About Ascensus

Ascensus helps more than 8 million Americans save for the future—retirement, education, and healthcare—through technology-enabled solutions. With more than 35 years of experience, the firm offers tailored solutions that meet the needs of asset managers, banks, credit unions, state governments, financial professionals, employers, and individuals. Ascensus supports over 60,000 retirement plans, more than 4 million 529 education savings accounts, and a growing number of ABLE savings accounts. It also administers more than 1.6 million IRAs and health savings accounts. As of March 31, 2018, Ascensus had over $187 billion in total assets under administration. For more information about Ascensus, visit ascensus.com.

View career opportunities at careers.ascensus.com or on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/company/ascensus. For the latest company news, follow @AscensusInc on Twitter.


Provident Trust Group Listed as Wealth Advisor 2018 Best IRA Custodian

Self-Directed Administrator Has Earned This Distinction for Four Consecutive Years

LAS VEGAS – Provident Trust Group (Provident), a wholly owned subsidiary of Ascensus that is headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada, has been honored by The Wealth Advisor (Wealth Advisor) as 2018’s Best IRA Custodian. This marks the fourth consecutive year that Provident has received this accolade.

Wealth Advisor has been America’s leading wealth management publication since 2009, providing news, opinion, and education for wealth managers and advisors alike. Results to determine the best IRA custodians list were compiled after receiving feedback from 200,000 subscribers. Provident ranked number 1 out of 12 registered independent retirement custodians, winning the majority favor by 68 percent.

According to Wealth Advisor readers, three factors were integral to securing the 2018 Best IRA Custodian distinction for Provident:

  • Reputation and length of time in the business – Nearly all of the advisors surveyed cited this as a factor in their decision-making.
  • Quality of service based on testimonials and referrals – Well over half of advisors cited word-of-mouth recommendations as critical.
  • Availability of in-house experts – Just under half of the advisors considered the quality of providers’ staff in making their decisions.

“It’s an honor to be recognized once again by Wealth Advisor’s readers as the top IRA custodian in the country,” says Theresa Fette, president of Provident. “Provident’s stated mission has been to empower customers to self-direct their retirement assets through innovative retirement plan solutions, ease of access, and an extraordinary customer experience. Awards and achievements like this are constant reminders that we work side by side with a dream team of associates that contributes to our success.”

“We’re extremely proud of Theresa and her team at Provident for this accomplishment, as it brings to light their commitment to service and excellence,” states David Musto, president of Ascensus, a technology-enabled solutions provider that helps more than 8 million Americans save for the future. “Through a shared focus on a best-in-class client experience, Provident and Ascensus aim to give customers access to the broadest range of alternative investment choices possible so that they can achieve a greater level of financial success.”

For more information on the full ranking and analysis, visit https://www.thewealthadvisor.com/article/provident-trust-group-rated-top-ira-custodian-2018.

About Provident Trust Group

Provident Trust Group is a self-directed administrator and passive custodian serving more than 29,000 clients and holding over $4.5 Billion assets under custody. The firm specializes in IRAs and Solo 401(k) account administration, asset custody, Corporate Trust services, and escrow services. Over 10 years, it has maintained an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau by offering responsive, honest, and personable service. Provident is dedicated to helping clients make the most of their financial opportunities by providing access to investment opportunities outside the traditional marketplace of publicly traded assets. Learn more at www.trustprovident.com.

About Ascensus

Ascensus helps more than 8 million Americans save for the future—retirement, education, and healthcare—through technology-enabled solutions. With more than 35 years of experience, the firm offers tailored solutions that meet the needs of asset managers, banks, credit unions, state governments, financial professionals, employers, and individuals. Ascensus supports over 60,000 retirement plans, more than 4 million 529 education savings accounts, and a growing number of ABLE savings accounts. It also administers more than 1.6 million IRAs and health savings accounts. As of March 31, 2018, Ascensus had over $187 billion in total assets under administration. For more information about Ascensus, visit ascensus.com (http://www.ascensus.com/).

View career opportunities at careers.ascensus.com or on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/company/ascensus (https://www.linkedin.com/company/ascensus). For the latest company news, follow @AscensusInc (https://twitter.com/AscensusInc) on Twitter.


Ascensus Named Preferred Vendor by Nebraska Bankers Association

Firm Helps Solve Banks’ IRA Compliance Challenges with Innovative Training and Product Offerings

Dresher, PA—Ascensus, a technology-enabled solutions provider that helps more than 8 million Americans save for the future, has announced that the Nebraska Bankers Association (NBA) named Ascensus as a preferred partner for its IRA products and training solutions.

The NBA and its subsidiary, Nebraska Bankers Insurance & Services Co. (NBISCO), have done a due diligence review of Ascensus’ products and training solutions and recommend Ascensus’ Fully- and Self-Administered Programs, IRA Essentials OnDemand, and IRA University to their member banks. NBA’s recommendation lets member banks know that Ascensus delivers IRA administration and training that focuses on innovation and compliance so that they can focus on their core businesses.

“Ascensus, NBA, and NBISCO have a long history of working together in support of Nebraska banks,” states Steve Christenson, executive vice president at Ascensus. “We look forward to many years of partnership and assisting NBA member banks to help their clients save for retirement and healthcare.”

“NBISCO’s commitment to extraordinary service to NBA-member financial institutions includes a desire to refer our members to vendors who share our passion for excellence,” states Scott Yank, executive vice president at NBISCO. “Our goal is to provide competitively priced products and services that will bring positive results for our member banks.”

“For this reason, NBISCO has entered into a preferred vendor relationship with Ascensus,” continues York. “We feel that the products offered will be a value-added service for NBA member banks.”

About Ascensus

Ascensus helps more than 8 million Americans save for the future—retirement, education, and healthcare— through technology-enabled solutions. With more than 35 years of experience, the firm offers tailored solutions that meet the needs of asset managers, banks, credit unions, state governments, financial professionals, employers, and individuals. Ascensus supports over 60,000 retirement plans, more than 4 million 529 education savings accounts, and a growing number of ABLE savings accounts. It also administers more than 1.6 million IRAs and health savings accounts. As of March 31, 2018, Ascensus had over $187 billion in total assets under administration. For more information about Ascensus, visit ascensus.com.

View career opportunities at careers.ascensus.com or on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/company/ascensus. For the latest company news, follow @AscensusInc on Twitter.

About Nebraska Bankers Association

The Nebraska Bankers Association (www.nebankers.org), founded in 1890, is the voice of Nebraska’s $72 billion banking industry, which is composed of small, regional, and large banks that together employ more than 14,000 people, safeguard nearly $59 billion in deposits, and extend more than $53 billion in loans, all within the state of Nebraska.


Chard Snyder Recognized by WEX Health for Outstanding Achievement

Earns Partner Excellence Award for Sales

MASON, OhioChard Snyder, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ascensus that is headquartered in Mason, Ohio, has been honored by WEX Health with a 2017 Partner Excellence Award for outstanding business achievements. The employee benefit solutions provider received the Sales Excellence Award at the annual WEX Health Partner Conference held recently in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Chard Snyder was selected for the award because of its significant accomplishments in identifying new and innovative ways to drive growth, executing on unique and differentiated sales strategies, campaigns and channel programs to accelerate organizational expansion.

“Chard Snyder has recorded tremendous growth once again this year, gaining an exceptional number of new participants and significantly increasing their account volume over last year,” said Jeff Young, President of WEX Health. “They are engaged on all levels, from sales strategies and market insights to pilot opportunities with new products, features and sales tools. They’re a fierce competitor and broadening their national presence year after year.”

The Excellence Awards, established in 2008, are presented yearly and recognize WEX Health Partners that have achieved extraordinary notable accomplishments. Award recipients were recognized for reaching significant milestones in 2017 in 13 categories: Growth Excellence, Evangelist, Innovator, Market Maker, Sales Excellence, Service Excellence, Solution Visionary, Leadership, New Partner of the Year, Card Innovation Partner of the Year, Billing Partner of the Year, CDH Platform Partner of the Year, and Partner of the Year.

Chard Snyder has been a WEX Health partner since 2005.

About Chard Snyder
Chard Snyder provides employee benefit solutions to more than 1,400 employers in 40 states across the U.S. Chard Snyder administers savings and spending accounts (FSA, HSA, HRA, transit & parking), benefit continuation services (COBRA; retiree, direct and other billing) and FMLA leave, and provides plan document services. Founded in 1988 by Ken Chard and Joy Snyder, the company employs 170 team members today. Chard Snyder is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ascensus and the anchor of its new Health division. Visit www.chard-snyder.com or call 800.982.7715 to learn more.

About Ascensus
Ascensus helps more than 8 million Americans save for the future—retirement, education, and healthcare—through technology-enabled solutions. With more than 35 years of experience, the firm offers tailored solutions that meet the needs of asset managers, banks, credit unions, state governments, financial professionals, employers, and individuals. Ascensus supports over 60,000 retirement plans, more than 4 million 529 education savings accounts, and a growing number of ABLE savings accounts. It also administers more than 1.6 million IRAs and health savings accounts. As of March 31, 2018, Ascensus had over $187 billion in total assets under administration. For more information about Ascensus, visit ascensus.com.

View career opportunities at careers.ascensus.com and http://www.chard-snyder.com/about/careers/ or on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/company/ascensus. For the latest company news, follow @AscensusInc on Twitter.


Ascensus on the Forefront of the Growing Retirement Savings Industry

A recent Pensions & Investments article ​highlights the appeal of retirement services companies, like Ascensus, to private equity firms. The industry is experiencing active M&A activity as private equity investors pursue stable cash flows, reliable revenue, and guaranteed growth. “Ten thousand people are retiring every day. This is a growth sector with reliable trends,” said Robert Goldbaum, a New York-based partner at Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP, who specializes in mergers and acquisitions.


Ascensus Wins 2018 Business Intelligence Public Relations and Marketing Excellence Award

Firm Receives Honor for Marketing and Public Relations Department of the Year

Ascensus, a technology-enabled service provider that helps more than 7 million Americans save for the future, has won The Business Intelligence Group’s 2018 Public Relations and Marketing Excellence Award for Marketing and PR Department of the Year.

The Business Intelligence Group was founded with the mission of recognizing true talent and superior performance in the business world. Unlike other industry and business award programs, business executives—those with experience and knowledge—judge the programs. The organization’s proprietary and unique scoring system selectively measures performance across multiple business domains and then rewards those companies whose achievements stand above those of their peers.

“We are so proud to recognize the work of Ascensus,” said Maria Jimenez, Chief Nominations Officer of the Business Intelligence Group. “It was clear to all of us that our winners all blended creativity and business understanding to deliver superior performances. Congratulations to them all.”

Throughout Ascensus’ 35+ year history, its corporate mission has remained the same—to help Americans save for the future by connecting them to the right plans. Key in forming these connections are the communication tools and materials that Ascensus creates to inform business and savings decisions.

“We take a humanistic approach to our materials and messaging to ensure that they meet the unique needs of our partners, financial advisors, clients, and savers,” states Carl Negin, Ascensus’ chief marketing officer. “Ultimately, we aim to simplify the sometimes complex and technical nature of our industry by creating concise and engaging thought leadership, PR, and marketing pieces. I’m proud of what our team has delivered and am excited to continue to evolve our communications to meet the needs of our clients.”

For more information on the Public Relations and Marketing Excellence awards, visit https://www.bintelligence.com/pr-excellence/.

About Ascensus

Ascensus helps more than 7 million Americans save for the future—retirement, education, and healthcare—through technology-enabled solutions. With more than 35 years of experience, the firm offers tailored solutions that meet the needs of asset managers, banks, credit unions, state governments, financial professionals, employers, and individuals. Ascensus supports over 54,000 retirement plans, more than 4 million 529 education savings accounts, and a growing number of ABLE savings accounts. It also administers more than 1.5 million IRAs and health savings accounts. As of December 31, 2017, Ascensus had over $163 billion in total assets under administration. For more information about Ascensus, visit ascensus.com.

View career opportunities at careers.ascensus.com/page/show/tpa and careers.ascensus.com or on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/company/ascensus. For the latest company news, follow @AscensusInc on Twitter.

 


How Financial Services Firms Can Safeguard Client Information

Financial services firms have a target on their back. Given the massive quantity of names, addresses, social security numbers, bank account numbers, credit card numbers, and other sensitive information kept on file, cyber criminals are going to continue to take aim at your businesses.

We’ve seen it countless times before in the financial services arena. A data breach in 2011 at Global Payments led to 1.5 million credit and debit card numbers ending up in the hands of cyber criminals, costing the company $90 million. In 2014, J.P. Morgan spent more than $1 billion to mitigate the damage resulting from compromised personal information of more than 76 million households. Last but not least, credit-reporting agency Equifax on September 7, 2017 revealed that cyber criminals had compromised the personal information of more than 143 million U.S. consumers, marking the largest data breach in history.

Experts say we’ve only seen the tip of the cyber-attack iceberg, and the treasure trove of sensitive information kept at your business will continue to attract cyber crooks to your company. The average cost of a data breach is approximately $4 million per incident, not to mention the priceless reputational damage. Can your business afford it?

What started out as a relatively minor issue has ballooned into perhaps the greatest threat facing our industry today. At Ascensus, we have over 30 years of experience in safeguarding our clients’ personal information. Here’s my advice for like-minded firms looking to avoid potentially disastrous data breaches.

Patch your systems

Perhaps the single most significant security flaw that led to the Equifax breach was the company’s failure to patch a vulnerability in its system, providing cybercriminals with an entryway into the personal information. Had Equifax patched this vulnerability within 48 hours of discovering it, the breach could have been prevented, according to Equifax CEO Richard Smith.

Patching vulnerabilities within your businesses security system as soon as they are identified may sound like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised to hear how many companies fail to do so. The capital and manpower required to implement these patches sometimes deters executives from the job. But these decision makers must understand the potential financial and reputational damages resulting from a breach far outweigh the time and money spent maintaining your system today.

Administer employee cybersecurity training

One of the top causes of data breaches is human error. Cybercriminals have gotten very creative in how they enter your systems, and frequently use methods that involve deceiving an internal employee into letting them right in the front door.

Hackers are known to create phishing emails disguised as Amazon coupons or other retail giveaways. A quick click on a link within these phishing emails can provide the criminal with everything they need to break into your systems. Sometimes hackers pose as an existing client or representative from a third-party vendor on the telephone to get the information they need to break in. Considering your employees’ natural willingness to help, you might be surprised how easily an unsuspecting associate will unintentionally give up sensitive information to the wrong person.

Strong employee cybersecurity training designed to help your associates recognize these malicious attempts is imperative to any strong, company-wide cybersecurity system and can go a long way in thwarting attempted attacks.

Prepare, prepare, prepare

If a data breach does occur at your organization, an effective response plan will make or break your ability to mitigate the damage to your clients and key stakeholders. This might have been Equifax’s largest downfall.

Ask yourself the following: How will we eliminate the bad actor to mitigate the damage? Which third-party cybersecurity firm will we call for help? What is our internal communication plan, and how will we address the issue with our clients and the outside media? These questions just scratch the surface, but getting the answers is a great place to start when building a response plan.

Is your firm ready?

Given the sheer amount of sensitive data you have at your company, financial services firms of all shapes and sizes will continue to be targeted by cybercriminals. Constantly monitor and update your security measures and response plans. If a data breach hits your organization, you’ll be glad you did.